Demon Slayer Facts

Most demon slayers have crows, so why did Zenitsu get a sparrow?

The sparrow is a symbol of everything Zenitsu has the potential to become as a demon slayer.

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Candidates for the Demon Hunter Corps receive a uniform, the ore for their blade, and a highly talented companion: a bird that will serve as a messenger to tell them of their impending missions, if they survive the final selection week. When these birds are lined up, one clear outlier stands out among the rows of blazing crow feathers: Chuntaro the Sparrow, Zenitsu’s messenger bird. But why is Zenitsu accompanied by a sparrow? The answer can be found in traditional Japanese folklore.

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In Japanese mythology, the messenger raven is well-known. According to tradition, the goddess Amaterasu sent a three-legged crow from heaven to the hero Jimmu. The three legs reflect the gods’ qualities of wisdom, kindness, and bravery. This crow, known as the Yatagarasu, flew to Jimmu and informed him where to go in battle, where he won. The usage of messenger ravens to instruct Demon Corps members where to battle bears homage to the Yatagarasu in Demon Slayer. In general, the crow is meant to be a protective emblem (not to mention that it has an uncommon sense of direction).
The sparrow, unlike the crow, has a less promising ancestry, which is why Zenitsu and Chuntaro are a wonderful match, as Zenitsu does not reflect the crow at first and will instead mature into those features. He’s portrayed as a character that needs to be rescued from his debts, thus he’s not always intelligent. He is, nevertheless, a good person, as seen by his protection of Nezuko from Inosuke Hashibara when they first met.

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Despite this, he frequently shelters behind individuals who are weaker than him and goes on long rants about the dangers they face. He is not fearless in the least. However, “The Tale of the Tongue-Cutting Sparrow,” a Japanese traditional tale, explains why the sparrow was chosen as Zenitsu’s perfect friend as he grew up.


There is an old woodcutter and his greedy wife in the story. The woodcutter comes upon a wounded sparrow and feeds it rice, much to his wife’s dismay (and in keeping with Zenitsu’s feeding of Chuntaro). The sparrow consumes starch one day while the husband is away, and his wife does not feed him, so she chops out his tongue and throws him out of the home.

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When the husband returns, he goes in search of the sparrow and finds a whole family of them, reuniting him with the one he spared. The woodcutter is offered two chests, one huge and one tiny, by the sparrows. The woodcutter, humble and aware of his physical limitations, carries the small chest home, only to discover it is full of treasure. His wife dashes off in quest of the sparrows, grabbing the huge chest in the process. She rushes to open the chest, only to discover it is full of snakes and other horrors, causing her to jump and tumble off a cliff. If the story has numerous morals, the treasure chest is the one that worries Zenitsu the most. Zenitsu is unsure of his talents and chose the little chest as a metaphor for himself. Despite the fact that he only knows one type of Thunder Breathing, his method is powerful enough to defeat even the most powerful demons. As previously said, he is also kind – a trait that emerges as he becomes more outspoken, particularly in his advocacy for children and demand that the demon Daki apologise for injuring a little girl.

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In another way, Zenitsu may be compared to the tiny casket itself, which no one except his teacher regarded as having promise but contained valuables. The sparrow is a sign of community, friendliness, and good fortune, and Zenitsu’s willingness to stick around as a devoted companion may be just what he needs to remind himself that he is no longer alone on his journey.

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While watching a demon slayer being bothered by a little sparrow adds comedy to an otherwise gloomy narrative, Zenitsu and Chuntaro join forces for more than just comic relief. Zenitsu sees Chuntaro as a representation of who he thinks he is and what he has the potential to be, which bodes well for the series’ resident coward.

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